skip to main content


Title: The role of demand-side incentives and charging infrastructure on plug-in electric vehicle adoption: analysis of US States

In the U.S., over 400 state and local incentives have been issued to increase the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) since 2008. This article quantifies the influence of key incentives and enabling factors like charging infrastructure and receptive demographics on PEV adoption. The study focuses on three central questions. First, do consumers respond to certain types of state level vehicle purchase incentives? Second, does the density of public charging infrastructure increase PEV purchases? Finally, does the impact of various factors differ for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), battery electric vehicles (BEV) and vehicle attributes within each category? Based on a regression of vehicle purchase data from 2008 to 2016, we found that tax incentives and charging infrastructure significantly influence per capita PEV purchases. Within tax incentives, rebates are generally more effective than tax credits. BEV purchases are more affected by tax incentives than PHEVs. The correlation of public charging and vehicle purchases increases with the battery-only driving range of a PHEV, while decreasing with increasing driving range of BEVs. Results indicate that early investments in charging infrastructure, particularly along highways; tax incentives targeting BEVs at the lower end of the price premium and PHEVs with higher battery only drivingmore » range, and better reflection of the environmental cost of owning gasoline vehicles are likely to increase PEV adoption in the U.S.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2]
  1. Tufts Univ., Medford, MA (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Grant/Contract Number:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 13; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
IOP Publishing
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Vehicle Technologies Office (EE-3V)
Country of Publication:
United States
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; plug-in electric vehicles; PEVs; PEV adoption; state and local incentives; tax incentives; plug-in hybrid electric vehicles; PHEV; battery electric vehicles; BEV; public charging infrastructure
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1460517